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Old 07-07-2007, 02:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Collected Past Posts about Cleaning Up

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Title: Is this an appropriate consequence or is it punitive?
Post by: klpmommy on October 04, 2006, 04:02:37 PM
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Every evening before bed we clean up all the toys. The toys all have boxes that are labeled for them to go in (dinosaurs, underwater animals, cars & planes, etc). The kids know which box is which & actually seem to enjoy playing as they put up the toys. Sometimes they enjoy playing too much & spend more time playing as they put the toys up than actually cleaning. I remind them & help them clean (usually I will work on one type of toy while they work on others or I will gather toys from other rooms & bring them into the living room). The past few nights cleaning has taken forever b/c of their play. I am glad that they are enjoying cleaning but they have to get to bed! So I have started setting the kitchen timer & telling them that if they can't get all the toys off the floor before the timer goes off they won't be able to pick a bedtime book like usual, I will pick the one book instead. (Usually they each pick one or two books depending on how much time we have once we get upstairs so we read a minimum of two books). I give them plenty of time with the timer & remind & coax them through getting all the toys up. So far they have always made it before the timer, but now I am wondering if I am setting up a logical consequence or if I am making this into something punitive. I don't want to take their joy in cleaning/playing & I love books at bedtime, but if they had their way they would clean for hours on end rather than going to bed.


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Title: Re: Is this an appropriate consequence or is it punitive?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on October 04, 2006, 04:20:30 PM
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I think it's very reasonable You are addressing the "time" issue by showing them time spent one place has to be taken from somewhere else, you are including at least one book to read, and you are using the timer to movitate them visually and with rhythm


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Title: Re: Is this an appropriate consequence or is it punitive?
Post by: Blue Savannah on October 04, 2006, 04:51:16 PM
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Maybe you could use the desire to play to your advantage. Divide the toys in half and whichever child finishes first gets to have his story read first. When my dd was younger, she loved to have me come and "inspect" her room. I would act mean and stomp around because she'd done such a good job cleaning up her things. That was one way I could always get her to clean her room in a hurry. But, I found it strange that Mrs. Pigglewiggle was one of the most helpful books I read on parenting.

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Title: Was this too punitive?
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 04:40:21 PM
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While I spent all day (literally, ALL day!) cleaning/organizing DS' room, he decided that the living room needed a make-over too.... And he took Toys R Us as his inspiration.. Toys all over the floor. He had dumped out the toy box(a big rubbermaid box), so I tried to get him to help me clean it up. He refused and no matter what I did, he wouldn't help. So I got desperate and said if he didn't help pick them up, the toy box was going in the garage. He didn't seem to care much except to say that the garage was too dangerous for the toys(ROFL). Well, he didn't care and didn't help, so they are now in the garage.

Was that okay? There are still puzzles and 2 games that need cleaned up too.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: milkmommy on August 23, 2006, 04:57:13 PM
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Truthfully "yes' not that I think having the rule help or it goes way is unfair but leaving him on his own for such a long period of time probably wasn't the best idea. I think he was likley overwhelmed and truthfuly if you'd been their you'd probably not have allowed such a big mess in the first place. The mess was likely over whelming.
Also saying if you don't then I'll take them away is done in a punitive tone. What were you hoping that he would do? I think these are they type of days we need to say "Do over" explain that mommy should have spent more time but got caught up in what she was doing in the other room and once the toys are cleared we can.. (insert something fun).

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 05:33:11 PM
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Thanks.. I agree that leaving him alone all day wasn't the best idea(though he'd make the same/similar mess even if I hadn't!).. This whole stinking house is overwhelming to me, which is adding to my frustration.. And then for every 1 toy I put away, he got out 5.

I haven't figured out how to get stuff like organizing/big cleaning done w/him around. He's not much of a helper. In fact if I ask him to help, he'll say 'no thanks' and go play. And honestly I wasn't IN his room all day. I was walking around the house quite often too. I stopped to play w/him a few times.

Oh well. That's what I get for trying to do something nice around here(cleaning/organizing his room).. I should have known better..

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: canadiyank on August 23, 2006, 05:39:35 PM
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What happens if you 5-step him for cleaning up toys? My dd (4.75) helps clean, but I've done a lot of taking her hands over the years and helping her. I've never taken toys away, but I don't think you were out of line. It does sound like an exhausting day, compounded by MORE mess, with someone who doesn't really understand that it was helpful to organize his room. Do you think he felt overwhelmed by you organizing in his room, like maybe he wanted to be involved more? Lately I've been talking about how we ALL pitch in to help clean etc, b/c we're a family, and that's been working pretty well. I'm sorry you felt so overwhelmed and unappreciated.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: milkmommy on August 23, 2006, 05:44:02 PM
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Quote
. In fact if I ask him to help, he'll say 'no thanks' and go play.
Honestly I would make it (with in reason) no negiotable, I expect my DD to help out with house hold stuff because its whats needed to make everything run smoothly. Now i wont like require her to stay alphabitize time magazines or stay with me while I decide just how to organize the family album because those are "my issues" but we clean dishes keep rooms tidy cook meals vaccum and dust because its needs to be done to make the house run smoothly. What I might have done in regards to the room..
1) If possible wait till DH or someone else could watch him (I have DH take Cecilia to the parks once a month so I can "deep clean"
2) divide the task Tell him we need to organize your room and why and that were going to work together for 10 mintues then we will go play for 20 or whatever. Make "no thanks" not an option
3) let the room go (something I'd be uncomfortable with) but sometimes we do have to step back and ask our selfs is it realy worth it..

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on August 23, 2006, 05:58:39 PM
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Well, we're talking a 4yo My 4yo has a very hard time cleaning but I do think that engaging him is helpful vs telling him to do it, but 5 Steps language goes a lot farther than requesting

At the same time . . . while I think the encounter was probably heated and frustrating for you I think the ultimately outcome is reasonable--toys that are too much for him to be responsible for have been removed and are not available for him to throw around anymore

I think in your frustration you did a fine thing

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: hey mommy on August 23, 2006, 05:59:37 PM
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Normally he's pretty good about helping me clean up. It's part of our routine at night, and maybe the fact that I started earlier didn't help. Well, I need to move clean up time to earlier in the day b/c DH is complaining that it's not done when he gets home at night. He gets home at 7:30. So I have 10-12 hours of just me and ds, cleaning, playing, whatever it is we do. You'd think that would be enough time, but for some pathetic reason(ME), it isn't.

DH take DS to the park?? That would never happen! I was shocked that Sunday they walked 3 blocks to Carls Jr. and then to Baskin Robbins. I can't even get the man to drive DS to see dh's parents.

And yes, I'm feeling overwhelmed and unapreciated.. And lonely...

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: milkmommy on August 23, 2006, 06:32:50 PM
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Ugg its hard when you have like no support from DH!

Quote:
Normally he's pretty good about helping me clean up. It's part of our routine at night, and maybe the fact that I started earlier didn't help.
This is my DD. SHes a super helper but she's very rountinue driven and though we dont go by a clock shes got a good sense of time and knows "what comes next" so If I try to get her to do something kinda outta the blue I often get the no.
And to be clear when I said make it non negotiable I didn't mean sit on him and treaten him but rather say This needs to be done I need you to help would you rather help by putting your books away or putting these shirts on hangers. I'd get him involved make it playful but not make "no thank you" an appropiate choice. If that makes sense..
FWIW we make general clean up as the finial thing before starting our bedtime rountinue its pointless doing it sooner as it jut get messed up again. We do house hold chores in the early afternoon..

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: brown eyed girl on August 23, 2006, 06:59:56 PM
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Quote:
And then for every 1 toy I put away, he got out 5.
I haven't figured out how to get stuff like organizing/big cleaning done w/him around.

Sounds to me like you have too much stuff and need a Clean Sweep. Now that it is all out in the garage, do NOT bring it all back into your house EVER. Put out 2 sheets on the floor... Mark one "Garage Sale" and one "Keep." Then put out a bin or sack that says "Broken/trash." Then YOU go through the toys, an initial sort-- he gets no input, you decide the first round through what can possibly stay. Then you clear away the "Garage Sale" and "Broken" piles... and leave just the "Keep" pile, but put it back into the first original box.

Now, invite the 4yo in, and let him help you sort through the box of pared-down toys, and let him choose which ones to keep and which ones to "garage sale." Keep your garage sale short, 8 to 11 a.m., because that's when all the business happens anyway. Let him help-- give him an apron to wear to make change, let him wear a special hat with a badge that says "Cashier" that you make with construction paper. Then after your garage sale, help him put the earnings in a bank (home-make one out of a shoebox) and take a dollar or two and go to get a special treat like ice cream cones.

Cut out pictures of something he'd really like to get with money he earns himself-- paste the pictures on the outside of his savings bank box. Cut a slit to insert coins. Now, get a few rolls of pennies or nickels... and keep them in a safe spot. When it's time to clean up, remind him that "a penny saved is a penny earned"... and jingle his bank box... remind him that taking good care of our things is like saving a penny because we aren't breaking or wearing out our stuff when we take good care of it... so "Let's tidy up and take care of our things, because a penny saved is a penny earned!" As he picks up toys and puts them away carefully, say "Look here's a penny you just earned by saving! Let's put it in your bank!" and let him put a penny *right then* into his bank. Jingle the bank, remember it's plastered with pictures of something he wants to save money to purchase....

Let him count out the money if he asks... show him pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters... let him trade them up as he earns enough pennies... Count pennies until you get to 100...

Within a month you'll have:
1) instilled in him a habit of picking up (but you will have to maintain it or it will go away)
2) taught basic kindergarten math

ETA... last week we had a spur of the moment garage sale with a neighbor who is moving to Manhattan. She put out signs on Tuesday, opened her garage door Weds morning at 7:30 to start dragging stuff out and immediately had people stopping. She had made $100 by 8 a.m. She had lots of toys from her girls who are now 13 an 16... she sold an entire box of Polly Pockets for $10 or something... Weds was a fine day for a garage sale, so it's not like you even have to wait for the weekend to do this.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: MarynMunchkins on August 24, 2006, 06:00:02 AM
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I think a 4 yo is old enough to understand "clean up or they get put up". I think it was fine, and have done it in the past.

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Title: Re: Was this too punitive?
Post by: TrinMama on August 25, 2006, 11:59:55 AM
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i'd have done the same thing. we often do put toys away when dd doesn't take care of them.

i like the "clean sweep" idea...i've already started getting rid of things here...i just think, how many toys do my girls really need? that's just me...i hate clutter and since we are the only ones on either side with kids so far, there are always more toys coming in (no matter how many times we ask our parents to stop...another topic). you might just find that if you have ds help with the clean sweep idea, you might have a few fits of "but i want to keep it" when you really think something should go. but it could work!

hope you feel less frustrated soon.
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